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Mobility and circulation of researchers | Marie Slodowska Curie Actions

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) are the EU flagship programme for the training, mobility and career development of researchers in all scientific domains (‘bottom-up’), at all stages of their careers and from all over the world. They encourage transnational, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary mobility with specific focus on skills fostering innovation, employability and entrepreneurship. The MSCA also support excellent doctoral programmes and networks, including industrial doctorates and joint doctorates. The MSCA are at the crossroad between the European Education Area and the European Research Area.

The applicants to MSCA can be individual researchers or institutions managing programmes, depending on the action. Academic organisations account for 74% of the total participations in MSCA in all Member States countries and universities represent 57% of all participations. Overall, 56% of the total MSCA budget is dedicated to Innovative Training Networks, i.e. to doctoral programmes mainly implemented by universities.

The MSCA have supported since its creation 25 years ago almost 140,000 researchers and will have supported near 65,000 researchers just for Horizon 2020 (since 2014), including 25,000 PhDs, and have funded over 1000 excellent international doctoral networks. They effectively train excellent, creative and innovative researchers contributing to important scientific breakthroughs. Evidence shows that the MSCA have a positive impact on individual researchers by promoting their international, inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary (“3-i”) mobility. But the MSCA also have a positive impact on organisations and at system level. The MSCA have a structuring effect on Europe's research and innovation capacity and practices by inspiring institutional reforms at national level, making Europe an attractive and competitive global location for researchers.

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